Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday AM Bible time


William: "Barrett, what is your favorite part of your picture?"

Barrett: "The building all covered up!" Barrett put his sticker right over Jesus's face and then colored on top of the sticker, as he always does. 

William's favorite part of his picture was the building on fire with the water spraying it, as well as the golden lamb. "I know lambs are white, but I want to make this one gold."

I like how William used lots of different colors this time! He did a pink sky for a sunrise, a blue sky, red hair for the son, and of course the gold lamb and the building on fire. (I also like the violent Star Wars sticker as a contrast to the peaceful image of father and son. :/ I had NOT bought the stickers as an incentive for Bible time (they were supposed to be a treat for the Montana Drive but never got pulled out). Oh well!)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday AM Bible time


Will: "Barrett, why are you coloring their faces red?"
Barrett: "Because Jesus like red."

From left to right: Barrett, William, mommy.

Busy Beaver ("I not a Beaver! I a BOY.")

Barrett is excellent, excellent! at playing by himself. Now, William is too, but William also frequently asks me to play with him, to help him with his toy dilemmas, and to tell him what to play with next ("Mom, we have nothing to do," a phrase that always results in helping me with the dishwasher, of course). And this must be the difference between the first born in the middle, but William is 90% more likely to yell, "Mom, watch me! Mom, look what I made!" Barrett is the source of his own gratification.

Barrett seems to like working alone. Even at times when the whole family will be sitting on the floor playing with something together, he'll run off and do his own thing somewhere else. A few nights ago, we were enjoying a rare moment, all of us sitting on the carpet playing with the tegu blocks, and Barrett was off in the piano room, alone, racing cars down the car garage ramp.

He's so adorable, with his purposeful little run when he gets an idea for play. Yesterday, in the basement, while I was working out and the boys were playing, he put on his little hard hat and began systematically moving every ride-on toy into daddy's hunting closet. When I looked in and saw them, all at that moment lined up in a perfect row, he threw his hands up in the air and proudly said, "These all my vehicles."


Thursday, October 27, 2016

When I sit on the floor to play with the kids...

... I can't escape the EVER CONSTANT nagging that I should be doing "something else." When I'm doing something else, I can't escape the desire to just take a minute and play. 

When I finally sit and play, the last thing I want to do is get out my phone and take pictures. And yet, the inner nag persists!




William, 4.5 yrs


A lot of loads!

"Mom, I need a lot of loads."

"I got a yot a' yoads, Will!"


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy Mother's Day


I finally took this down. It's been on my bathroom mirror for about six months now, and my inner neat freak finally won out (it was getting hard to get the mirror nice and clean while it was taped up there). 

William made this for me for Mother's Day 2016 in children's church. He was very proud to show it to me. I'll never forget how he showed me that he had traced a blue line around all the flowers. But then he pointed sadly to the flower on the far left, where the line went a little bit outside the circle, and told me, "I messed up there." I told him I was very happy with how he'd fixed it! I can just see him in my mind, laboriously connecting the flowers with the blue marker. How I love my sweet boy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A good day.

Yesterday was a good day.

I've been needing a good day lately. For the first six months after Neva was born, I didn't think three kids was such a very big deal. Now that she is crawling, it is one heck of a big deal. I recently told a friend, you kind of just think, what's the big deal about having lots of babies close together? Are parents just lazy, that they don't feel like taking care of babies for a lot of years in a row? The answer to that judgmental and totally obliviously ignorant train of thought is: kids don't stop needing you when they turn four. They need you all the way up to 18 and even after that. But especially before the age of five, they still need you to do things like wipe their butts, dish out their food, tie their tricky shoes, pick out their clothes, and help them navigate sibling arguments. And then they need you to homeschool them, if you plan on going that route, which we do, happily, and that is no small task, I am sure. (I plan to start next fall, and already I am wondering, how am I going to do this with the hoped-for four babies that I wanted to have? Ahh, Maegan, one day at a time. One day at a time.)

And speaking of one day at a time, yesterday was such a good day. On a lark, I checked a website from which I was planning on purchasing a very large portion of Neva's Christmas gift. (But Maegan, Neva's only going to be one-year-old! She doesn't need a Christmas gift! That's totally true. But maybe mommy wants a dollhouse and now she finally has an excuse to buy one and who cares if the baby's only a-year-old, mom is going to buy the dollhouse anyway.) So I happened to check this Canadian website on the last day of a big sale they were having after recently launching their new site. And it seemed that they were discontinuing the line of furniture I have been planning on buying for said dollhouse, and it was deeply discounted already. After applying the sale code, I saved so much money that I now have money left over to buy all my nieces and nephews their Christmas presents. That was a seriously fun online shopping experience. 

Then, in the afternoon, William and Barrett were having trouble not playing nicely. After the seventh or eighth scream / cry in a row, I called them both upstairs, where I was changing Neva's diaper, and made them both sit on the floor cross-legged behind me. "Lord," I asked out loud, totally out of ideas. "How can I teach these boys how to be kind and share with one another? What should I do? Should I discipline them? Should I make them do chores?" The boys sat there while I finished the diaper and somehow, my prayer was answered and minute by minute, we navigated. I had them clean up quite a bit, and then asked them if they preferred to do chores or if they wanted to try again to play nicely. "Can we try again?" William asked. I shut the doors to the playroom (so that Neva would not bother them) and for the next 45 minutes, I heard them having such a happy time in there, working together to set up a little ramp for their cars. It just made me smile. At one point William came out to tattletale and I interrupted him, asking, "Are you about to tell me that you guys are done playing nicely and that you need to do chores now?"

"Nope!" he replied instantly, and turned around and went back into the room where they continued their play. Amazing. 

Finally, after dinner, the boys went outside with Brian and then went down into the basement with Brian while I cleaned up the kitchen with Neva on my back and talked to a friend until my phone died. It was an unexpected and wonderful break. 

A good day. 

A couple things I wonder if I have blogged yet. One: when Barrett hears something he doesn't recognize, he asks, "What's that soundnoise?"

Another quip from Barrett, when I gave him a light smack on the butt to get him moving up the stairs, gruffly grunted, "Mom! That hurts my body."

In Montana, I was trying to make conversation with William while I helped him get ready for bed. I asked him if he remembered who had given him his pajamas. "Nana!" I reminded him. "Do you miss going to Nana's house? What do you like best about Nana's house?" He must've thought I intended to take him away from Montana at that moment to go to Nana's house, and apparently frustrated, he replied, "Mom! I like a lotta buddy's houses."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dear Will

Dear William, I wish you were old enough to understand a thank you note. If you were, I would write you one. I often tell you thank you for obeying, I definitely don't hold back with your praise, but if I could write you a thank you note, this is what it would say: 

Thank you for setting a tone in our home of obedience and compliance. Your resounding,"OK, I will!" is often heard after I give you a task. Yes, you are still a four-year-old boy who struggles with arguing and controlling his impulses, but in general you seem to demonstrate a healthy fear of authority that reacts with sensitivity to my instruction and reproof. Barrett, who often laughs at these same entreaties, sometimes seems to be lacking in this fear, and I wonder how he would be if he didn't have an older brother, whom he adores and desires to copy, to pave the way for him. Last night, while I was finishing up a kitchen project before bed, you asked to get out Candyland wheel and the two of you sat there attempting to play it by yourselves, four-year-old William and two-year-old Barrett. You patiently instructed Barrett how to play. It warmed my heart more than you'll ever know. Yesterday, many times you asked me to play with you. It was a very busy day (we had just gotten home from Montana the night before) and I simply couldn't say 'yes' every time. At one point, I did sit down to play, but mostly I had to say 'no.' I'm sorry, buddy. Please don't stop asking.

While we were in Montana, Mr. Justin was making conversation with you and asked you if you liked guns, bows, and arrows, and you responded in the affirmative. "What do you like to shoot?" he asked. 

"I like to shoot my bow and arrow," you replied. 

"Do you like to shoot rabbits?" he asked eagerly. 

Decisively, with a surprised little laugh, you responded, "No!" 

"Why not??" asked Mr. Justin. 

"Because that would hurt them!" 

He laughed and turned away saying, "Will, I give up on you." You laughed again to yourself at the silly idea of shooting those cute rabbits. I know it might be confusing that daddy has to shoot the chipmunks because they keep eating away under our walkways, and I was just so proud in that moment that you demonstrated that kindness. Later, I asked Daddy what he thought of your response. He shrugged and said, "I don't want him to be shooting rabbits. I don't want to shoot rabbits. I don't kill things just to kill things." I don't know why that story stands out in my mind but I had to put it on this blog. William, you made me happy in that moment.

Anyway, thank you. I am researching curricula and options for homeschooling you for kindergarten next year, and I just already know that when you sit down to do school with me, you will do it with a willing heart. And Barrett, watching you, will do the same Lord willing when it is his turn. Who knows how he would respond if he didn't have you to emulate? You are a wonderful boy. I'm so proud of you. On the way home from Montana you were a gem, and Barrett was a gem, and both of you made it easy to deal with Neva, who was an overtired baby stuck in a car seat for 27 hours with the beginnings of a cold. William, I love you so much! I know that much of my days spent correcting you, and I hope that you will read through the lines to know that my heart is overjoyed that you are my son.